BRIAN MCDONALD GROUP – Desperate Business
I for one applaud certain individuals willing to re-issue long lost gems that may not have received their just exposure due to the original label’s lack of marketing funds or the sheer number of bigger releases gaining attention over the independent product. Such is the case with "Desperate Business" from American act the Brian McDonald Group. This debut album came out on Sony Music in 1987 – the hey days of stadium arena rock where acts like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard could drive tens of thousands to the shows. Because of its simplified emphasis on hooks and AOR vocal sheen, these 10 songs should have assuredly gained them rock radio and possibly pop crossover potential – but alas it was not to be.
Dripping with an 80’s production and instrument tones (the reverb overdrive vocal harmonies, the synthetic drum feel, the bright keyboards), songs like “This Lonely Heart”, “No Control” and “Rockin’ With The Boys” wouldn’t be out of sync with the John Parr/ Loverboy Lovin’ Every Minute Of It release periods. Brian has a comfortable, fun-loving quality to his vocal performanc e- definitely there to keep the good times rolling. “Stay With Me” is one of those heartstring love ballads that teenagers of my generation couldn’t wait to hear at school dances.
Too bad we couldn’t have some bonus material to make this a touch more special for people who own the original – but nonetheless if you were a follower of the mid 80’s AOR/melodic rock scene, I think "Desperate Business" delivers the goods with tight songwriting and a strong sense of musical confidence.